During a parliamentary audit on Friday Seoul's defense minister Jeong Kyeong-doo pledged to make efforts to clinch a "win-win" deal in determining next year's costs to station U.S. troops in South Korea, in which another round of talks are scheduled for next week in Hawaii.
"We're sparing no effort to realize the government's Defense Reform 2.oh scheme to build a new and stronger military that is better prepared to effectively confront an array of security threats and procure strategic deterrence capabilities."
As part of efforts to carry out its Defense Reform 2.oh scheme, the South Korean Army said it'll reduce the number of soldiers dispatched to the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army or KATUSA to some 26-hundred by 2022 from the current 35-hundred troops.
The move is also seen as part of efforts by the U.S. forces to scale down the number of troops in the country as stated by former commander of U.S. Forces Korea, General Vincent Brooks, earlier this week in which he stated is instead being improved through specialization.
The defense ministry said it'll increase facilities and investigative units tasked with sexual abuse probes.
The ministry will also ban the Defense Security Support Command from conducting surveillance on private citizens, an issue that put its predecessor in hot water for masterminding a covert operation to post online comments to interfere in local politics.
"The ministry also urged for an amendment of the military's penalty policy, currently tied up at the National Assembly, that aims at excluding imprisonment.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News."